The Last Kennedy

Recently I read where Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island retired from public office making him the last Kennedy in a line of sixty five years in a national level office. Some people, probably of the liberal persuasion, consider this a tragedy. Of course, that is a misuse of the expression itself. Others are grateful hoping that the future does not provide opportunity for a new streak.

Which side of the fence you are on has a lot to do with how old you are. Many of us remember when Ted Kennedy in 1969 left the scene of an accident that involved the death of a campaign staffer for his late brother Robert. Somehow the car Ted drove ended up at the bottom of a Chappaquiddick water channel with a young lady in it. A medical report asserted that Mary Jo Kopechne did not die right away but possibly up to two hours later while trapped in the submerged vehicle. No one ever got a straight answer from Ted as to why he did not report the incident immediately to authorities but rather, as he claimed, tried to help her with the assistance of two others who had been to the party he had just left. The tragic event killed his chances for running for President in 1972 because public opinion around the country- maybe not so much in Massachusetts- was that he could not be counted on in a crisis.
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